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Please Join Me in June at AACTE’s Day on the Hill

I am so fortunate to have an opportunity to share my experiences in advocacy leadership at AACTE as chair of the Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy. It is my goal as chair to facilitate educator preparation advocacy at the state and national levels. The upcoming AACTE Day on the Hill, to be held June 7-8 as part of AACTE’s 2016 Washington Week, is an excellent opportunity for us all to develop and practice our advocacy skills together.

This 2-day event includes time to learn an effective advocacy strategy and then apply the strategy in scheduled visits with elected officials from our home states. Before the culminating congressional visits, participants will engage in a day of professional development focused on the knowledge and skills needed in advocacy efforts. We will hear from AACTE experts on what’s happening in Washington related to teacher preparation and discuss key issues that need the profession’s voice on the Hill.

Participants also will hear from colleagues on their best and most embarrassing moments in meeting with elected officials or staff, advice on how to advocate in DC, and strategies to translate that work on the home front. Last year, for instance, the Iowa AACTE chapter president and new Advisory Council of State Representatives chair, Nadene Davidson, described the advocacy strategy of developing relationships with other stakeholders around common issues. She shared her state chapter’s practice of holding biannual partnership meetings among the state’s professional education associations (representing teachers, school boards, and school administrators), which helped identify state-level issues on the horizon to inform the chapter’s advocacy efforts proactively. Davidson said she uses those same relationship-building skills when she meets with her elected officials in Congress.

This year’s Day on the Hill promises to be better than ever with a longer orientation day than in the past. We will not only learn from each other’s experiences on advocacy and practice our skills, but we will speak with communications experts on how to work with the press and also learn how to continue our relationships with members of Congress (or their offices) back home after we connect with them in Washington.

To register for Day on the Hill or other events of AACTE’s Washington Week, visit http://aacte.org/professional-development-and-events/washington-week. There you’ll also find schedules to download, hotel information, and more.

See you in June!

Joen Rottler Larson, dean and professor in the College of Education at Ashford University (IA), chairs the AACTE Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy.

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Joen Larson

Chair, AACTE Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy, and Dean, College of Education, Ashford University